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Referral to ophthalmologist

Getting a referral to an ophthalmologist specializing in DME treatment is the first step on your journey to dealing with your condition. There a number of referral routes into this doctor, which typically come via an optometrist, endocrinologist / diabetologist (a diabetes expert), ophthalmologist or primary care physician. Depending on which clinic you visit, referral, diagnosis and initial treatment may all be part of the same, or separate, appointments.

Preparation – take all important information with you to your appointment, including:

  • A list of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take
  • Insurance cards (if you have them)
  • Names and contact details of other healthcare professionals who care for you
  • Your medical records (if you have them)
  • Your current glasses for reading and/or distance
  • Your contact lenses case, if you are asked by your doctor to remove them
  • Be ready to discuss your diabetes history, your blood glucose control and any visual problems you have been experiencing

Questions you may ask

  • What are the referral options, and which do you recommend?
  • How will I find out details about my referral appointment (e.g., date, time)?

Questions you may be asked

  • What medications are you currently taking for it?
  • Where are you in relation to your HbA1c target? (or just how is your control?)
  • Is your diabetes affecting other parts of the body (e.g., heart, kidneys, toes)?
  • Do you have other problems, and are you taking medications for those?
  • Are you experiencing any problems with your vision?
  • When was the last time you had a check of your retina?

Key patient resources

Understand where you are and what you need to do

Use our checklists to prepare for appointments

See what most DME patients want to know about

An easy-to-understand guide to the medical terms